By Susanna Sweeney, MSc, MBACP, CHT
No one explains hypnosis and trauma better than master hypnotist Karl Smith of the UK Hypnosis Academy. Watch my interview with Karl who shares his personal story that brought him to developing his own hypnosis methods for clearing post traumatic stress.
Susanna Sweeney: I am here with Karl Smith, who is the head of the UK Academy. Karl are we here to talk about your hypnosis career. Good morning.
Karl Smith: Hello there. How are you?
Susanna Sweeney: Karl, I would like you to fill our viewers in on what brought you into the hypnosis world. Essentially you're talking about trauma, right?
Karl Smith: Okay. Yes. I was, I think 12, yes just shy of 12 years in the army. I went to all the places that,your holiday representative definitely won't send you to. I've done the Iraqs. The Kosovos, the Northern Irelands, and traveled the world doing some interesting things, some humanitarian, sometimes wartime scenarios and all that type of stuff.
And then I left the army just shy of 12 years. I had one day off, I had a Saturday off and then joined straight into the police. And it doesn't mean you just walk in. I had been planning for a year to join the police and I went into the police to join the firearms department and then went on to the counter terrorism side of things. And then, um, and then went from there. But just at the very start of my police career in 2006, I was hit by a drunk driver.
He'd been at a funeral all day, due to a tragic set of circumstances where six people had died due to another drunk driver. He then took one of the deceased's cars and after the funeral and then went on a bit of a drink and cocaine fueled drive fest.
I say that with a bit of humor nowadays because that's the way it was. At the same token, that day when he went on a bit of a drink drive fest changed my life. He ended up in our cul-de-sac. He ended up in our front garden and the next door neighbor’s front garden. Long story short is I ran outside, went to grab him and pull him out of the car. I misjudged it and then he just ran me over.
He reversed over me, realized he couldn't get out. So he then drove over me again and left me for , left me for, for, for nothing really. So the right side of my body was all damaged. I had head injuries, neck injuries, leg injuries...
Susanna Sweeney: I saw some photos of that accident. Absolutely horrific.
Karl Smith: Yeah. There are some photos. The funny thing about it was this. That was August the fourth, 2006, and my next door neighbour was taking some pictures. I lived in quite a rural area and she was taking some pictures of hanging baskets and stuff like that. She didn't realize that she was going to capture a car accident that night.
So yes, because of that there's a picture of me laying there with the tyre marks all over me and stuff like that. And so, the driver just drove off but he then lost control of the car again about three and a half miles away where he ended up living in one of those little tank shelters from the second world war, that we have scattered around England. He lived in there for a couple of days and they picked him up then.
I sustained leg injuries, back injuries, neck injuries, head injuries, arm injuries anyway, and that all, that's fine. We understand that. I was on Tramadol per Pregabalin , Paracetamol, I was on everything, to be quite honest, the doctors gave me everything to try and calm the pain down, to try and calm everything down.
And um, after a few weeks, the plaster cast came off my leg and stuff like that. And then I started to try and rehabilitate. I was doing lots of swimming and stuff, but as I progressively came off the Pregabalin and the Tramadol, which is probably the worst one out of all of them...
Susanna Sweeney: Tramadol is a horrendous drug, um, an opiate based drug and it is basically highly addictive and very difficult to get off because it messes with the serotonin production in your brain.
Karl Smith: Yeah. And the long story short is, is that what happened with me is I ended up going into...I had just been chomping on them so much, had been eating so much that I had actually been going through lots of my supplies.
So I went back to the doctor and he said, you've had three months already Karl, we've given you a three months supply already, he just said, no, no, no, we've got to start weaning you off. And I started getting angry with him in the office, started getting really antsy because I didn't have any more Tramadol. But the, the key thing about this is that as I was weaning off of it, because I realized I had become as a police officer, I had become a drug addict in some ways. Not in some ways- I had become a drug addict while still serving in the police- on Tramadol.
Susanna Sweeney: You weren’t on your own. There are hundreds and thousands of people who became addicted to these drugs. That actually became somewhat of a scandal.
Karl Smith: Yeah. And, and, and that's the key thing about it is, is that I didn't realize what I was doing. I was doing it because I thought that's why I had to do. So I started weaning myself off the Tramadol.
And the key thing about it is, that as I came off the Tramadol things started to happen- recurring nightmares and stuff like that. And, um, what we started to find that was that the Tramadol had been suppressing what was, what was going to be part of my life, which was post trauma.
And- the post-trauma was nothing to do with the car accident, the reoccurring nightmares waking up in the middle of the night, the panic attacks, the anxiety and all that, that had nothing to do with, um, with the car accident itself. I didn't, I didn't see any images of the car accident.
It was the things that I'd seen in Kosovo, in Bosnia and- uhm I was there, it was one of the first on the scene for the, Omagh bomb in 1998 in Northern Ireland. I was there, you know, so I'd seen many things. I'd seen the worst and the best of humanity during my career. But the thing is, is that the worst stuff was popping up.
And that's where the recurring nightmares and flashbacks to people used to call them were popping up and not from the car accident. The car accident was really just the catalyst. That's why I talk about post trauma as accumulated stress factors rather than one incident. People sit there and tell me that I've been involved in one car accident and that gave me post-trauma. That’s incorrect.
Susanna Sweeney: You know, I, I find that very often too in my work, that the trauma that finally brings people into the work is not what they will actually talk about They will usually be bothered by stuff from much earlier in life, which might or may not be related by subject matter. So things like medical trauma, developmental trauma often comes up, dysfunctional families, all of that.
Things that wouldn't, you know, might not have posed a problem for a period of time to come just yet, had there not been a massive trigger. Right. I like how you describe that using the image of the pressure cooker.
Karl Smith: Yeah, well that's the way I look at it, it’s like a big pressure cooker. Life's a big pressure cooker and we've all got a little bit of water in the bottom of it. That's the, the workable stress.
I like to keep it simple. I know there will be the professionals watching this, but this is how I describe it to my clients, I talk about it as a pressure cooker with a little bit of water in the bottom and the heat of life is then turned up as we go through life and the pressure builds, little things like bereavement, stress, surgeries...it’s the little things, you may well be involved in it in an incident, might be involved in domestic violence, whatever.
The accumulation is there, it builds up, builds up until eventually your body just says, I’ve had enough. The long story short is the pressure cooker blows up from accumulated stress factors, all the things that are happening.
I wasn't sleeping at night time. Things were going really tragically wrong for me. It looked like my career was going to go down, and Jack Daniels had become an amazing friend of mine, Jack Daniels and Tramadol. That's a really good mixture. I don't advise anyone to do that one, but it did do it for me...
Susanna Sweeney: And in moments of desperation people will, that's a really human thing to do. I've worked with many clients who were driven to drink and drugs because of trauma.
Karl Smith: Yes, just trying to suppress these symptoms...It's just, it's a coping strategy. If you can't hear or feel it, then you feel okay, you know, you get rid of it that way. It doesn’t make sense to me know, but from where I was at the time...It won’t make sense to anyone listening to this.
But for me at the time, I found I got relief from whiskey and Tramadol at night, and if it worked at night time, why didn't I use it in the morning? And that's where I got myself into a little bit with spin. And that was way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way before I ever believed in hypnosis.
Susanna Sweeney: So, what you're describing...you are describing your rock bottom. This was your rock bottom and very often it's that rock bottom that brings people onto their life path.
Karl Smith: Well, the key thing for me was is that the police had to supply me a counselor and they gave me a counselor. Look, I don't want your listeners to get upset with me about this. This is just a personal journey. They gave me a counselor and I'll tell you now, it doesn't go for everybody. I'm not painting everyone with the same brush.
It was probably the second worst experience in my life after getting run over by a drunk driver. Honestly, it was. I mean one of the questions was is how did it, how did it feel to be run over? And I'm sat there going, it was, it was that serious question. You know, how does it feel to be run over, well now, now as a hypnotist, I'm sitting there going, well now I can resonate with why, why I was so perturbed. They just wouldn't let it go. It was like, oh, we found an avenue and we're going to keep going for it. It is so insensitive. So in the end I had to get rid of that person.
Susanna Sweeney: Karl as you know I come from the psychotherapy world as you know, and very often, I find it has its limitations, even with somebody who might be a bit more skilled than that and might have a bit more sensitivity around trauma.
But even at that, what happens is you, all you have is talking tools, right? So you're encouraging your clients to talk about the trauma. Again and again and again. And every time you do that, as I understand now, you know, after years of involvement in the hypnosis world and Havening world and so on, I now understand that very clearly. But for many years, I did not understand that what that does is it replays the same neural pathways over and over and over without a pattern disrupt.
So what you're doing is you're actually strengthening the impact of trauma. You are strengthening the symptoms, right? You're encouraging the symptoms to continue. So there's something, there's something in that now from where I am now, I would actually judge to be quite unsafe in terms of working with trauma.
And I was trauma trained, but even at that, I think the, the tools in the psychotherapy world, even those that, you know, like I have sensory motor training, but even at that the tools are relatively limited. There's a lot more you can do with hypnosis with Havening techniques and similar modalities.
Karl Smith: The key thing the way I look at this, the way that I explain it is the same essentially when they gave me CBT. And like I said, I don't want people that listen to this to think I'm bashing counselling. CBT- Cognitive behavioral therapy. The way that I saw it when they did it with me, it was like me putting my hand on a hot plate, pulling it away and going ‘Ouch that really hurt!’ and then somebody goes, ‘No, no, no, no. You've got to do it again to get rid of the pain for the first one.’ And I don't want to do that. And that's how it’s supposed to work- I had to keep putting my hand on a hot plate until eventually all the nerve endings were burnt out...
Susanna Sweeney: It is this thing that you are very eloquent about. It's intellect versus emotions. That's the constant battle we are in, in the therapy room it’s like, are we going with intellect or are we going with emotion? And what the basic understanding is that lacking in psychotherapy is that emotions always rule over intellect. And in CBT they are trying to tell you that you should manage your emotions by using your intellect. Well, it might work for a short while, but ultimately, unfortunately it probably won't.
Karl Smith: Yeah. But that, that's a Coue-ism that is, that's if there's conflict between emotion and, intellect, the emotion will win. That's why when teaching we talk about the lemon and that and other things too, to invoke, uh, reactions. We invoke this state and that's what we're looking at doing. So, so the long story short is I went to CBT and that didn't work.
The long story, long story short is a police officer friend of mine was a hypnotist. And uh, I come from a place called Great Yarmouth, which is a fairly well known holiday resort in the UK. Well, it was in the 70s and eighties early nineties. But now she's dying off now. But the thing is that we had a stage hypnotist in town.
I used to go watch him as a kid. And I was fascinated, interested in what he did. And I'm, I didn't believe it, even though I was watching it and I kept going back and watching him, I just couldn't do it. I knew back then that I'd end up learning it later in life, but I didn't know when it was going to do it. And, um, and so anyway, coming back to it, this bloke, this, this police officer said, ‘Oh, I can do hypnosis.’ Well, I'm not doing that. I'm not doing that crap. I'm not getting involved in that. I've seen people shits square eggs, so I'm not going to bother doing that.
And um, the long story short is he said ‘No, no, no, no. Let me educate you Let me show you what it really is.’ And those words stuck with me. Let me educate you. Let me show you what it really is. And he did. And that was like the pressure, like the pressure cooker, the lid had been been lifted off and it was content free.
So most people that know me know that I work content free. I don't even ask the client what, what they think the cause is.
Susanna Sweeney: Working content free. Can you say a bit more about that, I think this is amazing, describe it a little bit to our viewers. What does that mean?
Karl Smith: So there's, there's a saying isn't there... The issue is never the issue.
This is why...They got such bad training out there for some of these script therapists, it's unbelievable. The issue is never the issue when the person is post-trauma. When a person walks through the door, the issue that they present is not the issue that's actually going on in their subconscious unconscious monkey brain.
I always say subconscious, unconscious monkey brain. Because wherever I am in the world, it just changes. So I just say that all the time. Covers all caveats. So the subconscious, unconscious monkey brain is sitting there and don't forget, we don't, we don't communicate with words up here. This is run by colors and algorithms. So this is all colors and algorithms. The non verbal communication, Oh, I'll just feel so blue today. That's when we get that sensation. That's why we have that. Our brains don't work in words. They work in colors and algorithms. That's an electrical impulse. Just firing around. That's, you know, they're not word are foreign.
Susanna Sweeney: So back to content free work...
Karl Smith: Well, so the thing is, is that the content free work comes from: Why am I bothering asking the client what they think it is when as a hypnotist, hypnotherapist or whatever you want to call it this week, I go directly into the subconscious, unconscious monkey brain and ask it what that color and algorithm is. There's no point. There's no point in sitting there sitting there for nearly 45 minutes, or an hour asking the person what they think it is because it's never the issue.
They may think it's this, they may think it's that, but it's never that. So anyone who's watching this who starts a session with a long consultation and then they've come up with something completely different, it makes the consultation look like a waste of bloody time. And I'll tell you I used to do long consultations and now I narrow it down to um, personality disorders, but... I've done most of those checked prior to them coming in and I check medication and are they with a psych team or anything like that or community team or anything like that. And that's my job. And as a hypnotist, my objective is to get somebody into trance into a state of hypnosis, their hypnosis within around 30 to 60 seconds. You can watch my YouTube.
Susanna Sweeney: What I would like to add in at this point is that what that's like on the receiving end is that the client, that as a client you don't actually have to talk about your material at all. You do not have to disclose any detail. It’s not about your story, the detail. In the sense it's irrelevant. It's the charge that we're working with, right? It’s the impact on the body and the mind that we're working with and that we're dismantling in this work.
Karl Smith: And that's the key thing about this is that in my opinion talking therapies in some respects are an analogue technology in a digital world. And, and the key thing is, is that the brain is so fast now compared to when Sigmund Freud and Carl Young were doing that work, is that back then people were using abacuses, you know, to, to do maths and in you know, to learn English. They were doing different ways of learning because the brain was different.
Now we're so spontaneous definitely, like my nine year old knows how to update and update my iPad, I had to do everything the hard way and he, because he's so rapid, the way he's doing it and the way that he learns is far, far, far more efficient.
And when, I mean I'm only 45 now, but I mean even in that short space of time, in the past 20 years or say 30 years, you know, computers have changed everything. The speed of the brain and if you look at it like that, we can react a lot quicker. The content free element is a no nonsense approach. I don't need to ask anything about it. And it's so fundamental in the way that I work. It's so fundamental. I don't, don't need to listen to it. I've learned that through years of experience of listening to people that, I have actually found out that I don't need to listen to what they've got to talk about, because it's not the, I'm not interested in what they've got to do. It's not relevant. It's not relevant in what we're doing.
Susanna Sweeney: Yeah. From my point of view, you know, living and working in Ireland, which is a very small country, most people really value their privacy and they actually, you know, like, with trauma there is a lot of actually wanting to avoid the talking. Right? So it hits those two key points. And I think it's a wonderful opportunity for people to clear their stuff without having to disclose anything and all. I don't need to know what's going on inside and what their issues are and where they've come from. The family history, all of that.
Karl Smith: And that's the key thing about it is, is that some people might say, no, no, no, no, you must do this. You must do that. That's fine. But after 13 years of doing this and teaching in over 35 countries doing it, it seems to me to quite, work quite well. But on the same token, I do get that people like to do it, but it's not a necessity. You don't need to do it for me.
I work with special forces. I work with firearms officers and I work with, um, people from all over the globe, I work with Las Vegas police department, the LAPD. I work, you know we've got a project on with new South Wales police at the moment, Australia, I have got a project on with UK police as well. And the reason that they like that approach is because the officers are coming back and saying, ‘Oh my God, I'm not having to regurgitate all that shite.’ And it's got nothing to do with that. Trauma is accumulated stress factors and once you educate people, that's when they come around to it.
Susanna Sweeney: Talk a little bit about the results that people can expect from this work, hypnosis and trauma.
Karl Smith: Most people who know me know that it's about a belief. I get sick and tired. I really, really do get sick and tired of people that go into a hypnosis session and come back and say: ‘I don't think anything happened.’ Your job as a hypnotist, as a Havener or as a TFT’er, EFTer or whatever you bloody well want to be this week, I really don't care, I don't get caught up in labels. Whatever it is.... Your job is to fundamentally give somebody a belief that something fundamentally is changing.
Hypnosis, um, yeah, it's all about prestige. It's all of that, the delivery and the belief system. The key thing is about making sure they have a belief. I don't deliver therapy sessions. I don't deliver therapy sessions. I deliver experiences. When I changed from therapy sessions to experiences, my, my success rate changed, it went vertical because people would demand and expect before they walked in this door.
And people when they leave me, they go, ‘I don't know what happened, but something happened.’ Now we know that things are going on...You know, a scientific paper was probably published yesterday and somebody is pulling it apart today. Science is like that. But I work with a human that's in front of me. I work with the human. And the idea is, is that when people come to me, they have an experience and they know that something fundamental has changed and that causes a belief and a change in a pattern.
Susanna Sweneey: And as practitioners, we can watch that when we are delivering one of those sessions...you can see that during the part that you call mental detox... You can watch all kinds of physical changes you can see that their colour changes, you can see them sweating or trembling or shaking. You know that something is happening. You know that there is some clearing happening, even before you engage deeper in the next part of the session. You just know that- spontaneously, the brain is already working through material.
Karl Smith: And the key thing is, is that science gets in the way. Sometimes we all need science and all that. On the same token, there's a lot of things Franz Anton Mesmer was doing in the late 17th century and he was getting great results with it. Yes, he had some really interesting ways of doing things...but on the same token his job was to set up a belief and that's exactly what you do and the key thing is, is that my job is to start that same belief pattern that something fundamentally is now going to change. So that's the way I work that that and it works.
My job as a therapist is not to do anything to be brutally honest, except for manoeuver the person into the right place that their belief system believes that things are changing. I need to guide people to the right place and let them do the changes. I don't do anything personally. When people say to me, thank you very much.... Thank you, not me, for you did it.
That's the whole point ... It's got nothing to do with me. They are doing the work. My job is a professional is to sit there and nurture them into the right place, open up a door, wait and let them go through....and do it themselves. That's why I don't get these, these, you know, hypnotists trained with scripts...There's no point. It's just absolutely abhorrend training in my opinion, is that when people aren't working with humans, I'm very human based. Work with the human, not the label. That's my mantra anyway.
Susanna Sweeney: Also you published a book. Talk to our viewers a little bit about that.
Karl Smith: It’s called: There is no D in PTSD. It's a refrain. When, when I first got given the label of post traumatic stress disorder, um, I went and researched it and one of the things that came up, believe it or not, it was on Wikipedia.
We know Wikipedia is not right, but when you're not well, believe it or not, these are things you go search. And when I read it, it said disorder, broken toilet door, and it really has hit me and I was going, ‘Oh my God, am I broken?’... a broken toilet door. But I've got to remember there are therapists, professionals going to be watching this. People will say, I don’t use Wikipedia...As far as Wikipedia goes, I'm not worried about you. I'm worried about your clients.
That's, that's the thing. Your clients will be reading this stuff because they're in search of what's going on. They want to know how they can, how they can get away from it, how they can change it or what they can do. They want to know what the label means and I took my phone, ‘broken toilet door’ and it really, really hit me. I don't, I couldn't get away from it.
So, um, it really inspired me to get off my backside. It's a bit like Victor Frankl, isn't it? You know, it's about choices. We're all exposed to traumatic scenarios, but it's how we choose to allow it to affect us, that time type of stuff.
Susanna Sweeney: Victor Frankl.
Karl Smith: Victor Frankl. Trauma. Yeah. That's it. Yeah. We've all got choices somewhere. And I chose not to, not to have it as a label because that's my personality anyway. I chose, I'm not having this, I don't want this. I'm very go, go, go. I'm very out there. And um, and the key thing is, is that, is that I chose to go do it.
So I went on a little adventure to find out was this a broken toilet door or could I fix the broken toilet door. Um, and the long story short is, is that, that's where it got me to. So the reason that I've got ‘There is no D and PTSD’ is to remove the disorder from the post trauma.
Susanna Sweeney: Take away the pathology and the pathologizing, yeah. I think people feel less broken. Normalize it. So people can feel like this is just what happens after trauma. There is no shame. That's actually what is to be expected.
Karl Smith: Right. And, and the key thing about it trauma is, it's very easy to just throw labels nowadays. I'm just a human. So my job is to work the human, my job is to sit down and explain, not go through my whole story, but tell them, I know what it's like, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
So, I had the worst day of my life on August the 4th, 2006 become the best day of my life. It came to where I've now taught in, in probably I've taught in over 35 countries. Before this interview I was in Hawaii, Melbourne, Sydney, LA, Vegas, Dubai, Abu Dhabi. I am going to Katmandu, and I've got India coming up as well.
So my life is about teaching. So the worst day of my life became the best day of my life because, you know, I've, I've been able to travel the world, teach, make a beautiful career out of it. And then I've got, I've got, you know, a company that's just five in with, with people that have got the same mindset and skill set as me really.
And that's why it's not the ‘Karl Smith’ Hypnosis Academy but the UK Hypnosis Academy because it's all about a big family thing. But, no, the no D in PTSD is about, um, it was designed for people to have, um, a book that they could throw them in a crew room or throw in their bag that they could go read up on these different types of things in there. It’s educational.
We have got to tweak it. There's one chapter that has got to come out because of a certain individual, but, but the thing is, is that, is that, um, it's about different approaches to show different people, different approaches, just an educational, but really it's about the story about I've told you about how I started in this career and about how it just accelerated.
Susanna Sweeney: These days Karl, are you using hypnosis for your own personal growth?
Karl Smith: Yeah, all the time. Well, it's like a Coue-ism, isn't it? It's all a suggestion. People call it self hypnosis nowadays. I mean, he was doing this in the 18th, late 18th century for crying out loud every day. ‘Every way I'm getting better and better.’ Same as what we said earlier about Coue-isms when you look at it, if there's conflict between the emotion and intellect, the emotion will always win.
Um, I reckon the Dalai Lama, I must wake up some days to cold porridge or stale lentils, and get a little bit irritated with people.
Susanna Sweeney: The thing is, it becomes more of an everyday thing, right, you might have removed a lot of your trauma symptoms and need to support yourself more on an everyday basis. You still have to master the challenges that life throws you.
Karl Smith: I mean sometimes still throw a Teddy bear in a corner ... it’s your, you know, the subconscious unconscious monkey brain going into it's fight, flight, freeze mechanism or whatever we're calling it this week, but it's going into, it's little mechanism, but auto suggestion, which Coue came out with is ‘every day in every way I'm getting better and better’. That's self hypnosis. That's the only thing that I do. I just sit there and tell myself, yeah, I'm good. Yeah I can do this or that. I'm going to make it. Whatever it is I need for that day, I then use it to, to, to overcome anything that I need to. Personal, personalized.
It doesn't matter who you are, what you are. I work with celebrities and I'm sure that those people that know me on here know that I've got lots of celebrities I work with. And when I see them on the catwalk or when I see them on the stage doing their thing, or I don't know, they're like THAT. And then I go back stage or I'm meeting them in Vegas or Hollywood or wherever I am. The picture's very, very, very, very different. So, we all have our own little monkeys. It's just the same case at home.
Susanna Sweeney: Karl, here comes my closing question to you. Cool. If you could wave a magic wand what future developments would you wish for in the hypnosis world?
Karl Smith: Okay. I don't believe in accreditation. I do not believe in accreditation whatsoever, especially in England. Um, I don't believe, and I travel the world seeing some of these accreditation bodies as well. And I think, I think if I, if I wanted to wave a magic wand because these accreditating bodies don't really do much except for their own parameters. There is no legal, clinical, or medical governance within the country, most of the countries for it. Um, is that instead of training people to be robots, I won't, I would love to pay training companies to start teaching people how to be, I think a human again. I liked the idea of, I like the idea of people being a human with a human rather than this robotic technique.
I mean, I was in a group yesterday and the amount of people that somebody said one thing and everyone was throwing techniques on it, but you're not dealing with a human. I like the idea of people coming back to being a human, the fundamental human again and just working with the person sat in front of them. That's what I'd like to see.
If I could wave a magic wand, I would burn all scripts and all psychotherapy that has been put into and around hypnosis. I would do, I would, I would banish it because it's got nothing to do with this.
Psychotherapy has got nothing to do with it. Sigmund \freud gave up on hypnosis, didn’t he? He was absolutely bloody useless when he came back from France when he came back and denounced hypnosis. Why? Because he couldn’t do a proper induction. But that's another story.
But on the same token, I would do, I would get rid of the psychotherapy element out of hypnosis because it’s got nothing to do with it. Absolutely nothing to do with it. I would get rid of scripts and teach, get more people trained as humans not robots. Yeah. That's a subject I could go on for hours because what we're doing is we're seeing accreditation, accreditation bodies being pumped up, left, right, and center with no legal or medical or no legal, clinical or medical governance. They've got no, they've got their own ideas and aspirations, but they're fricking useless.
And that's the thing, especially in England, some of them, some of the legal governing bodies and stuff, the people I have to retrain is unbelievable. Unbelievable.
Susanna Sweeney: Yes. And a lot of it is, is from what I can see, bureaucracy, restricting access in the most peculiar ways too.
Karl Smith: The key thing is, is that, is that I like to teach people the practical, the pragmatic approaches of working with humans rather than the theory. People don't need to know Sigmund Freud’s inside leg measurements, they want to know how to do it and what to look out for. How to calibrate, how to look for those intuitive elements, the human part.
So I would get rid of all psychotherapy elements propped onto hypnosis and I'd teach people how to be a human again. Wonderful. Does that answer the question? It's really important to me really is, is that people stop hiding behind techniques and be a human stop working with the label, you know, work with a human, not the label because the issue is never the issue. I could go on about this for hours.
Susanna Sweeney: And I know you could...
And I agree with you. Um, like I see, I see kind of parallels to that in the psychotherapy world where people are hiding behind skills and because they have never been taught how to actually sit with a human being and just be witness and dare be fully present to that person with your own weaknesses, with their own, you know, fears, their own anxieties, their own, I mean this is the thing.
We're all humans. We're all in the same boat together. We are all working through our own trauma.
And if as therapist you can admit that I think it makes things so much more human for your client because it makes it so much more equal, you're not above them, you're part of the journey as an equal. Yeah. See a lot in the psychotherapy world is, um, the thing of professional appearance where people are hiding their own material and they go through great lengths, go hide their own material and it's very, very dishonest, and, I believe, actually that it's very unhelpful to the client. It creates distance between two human beings where it shouldn't be a distance.
Karl Smith: Yeah, I know.
Susanna Sweeney: Well, Karl, thank you so much for this chat and, um, probably be talking again in the near future and, um, yes.
Karl Smith: Yeah, thank you so much. Well, you're more than welcome. Anyone who wants to get on to me and just have a look at my book. It's no D in PTSD. It's on Amazon. You can go have a look at it that way, but thanks very much for having me today. And you go have a lovely day and everyone else have a lovely day.
I hope you enjoyed my interview with Karl Smith on hypnosis and trauma. If you'd like to connect with Karl, you can do so here. Let our community know what you think!
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